Best coffee maker 2021

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Brewing great coffee is a lot harder than it looks. To yield a truly tasty pot, coffee grounds need to hit hot water for the optimal length of time and the water must be within a precise temperature range, too. Only a handful of drip coffee makers can pull off this sort of alchemy — the vast majority don’t and instead serve up pots that taste terrible.

Thankfully, we’ve discovered some noteworthy exceptions on the market. Even better, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the best coffee maker. Sure, you can drop nearly $500 on a tricked-out Ratio Eight that’s as gorgeous as it is capable, or on a programmable commercial coffee maker. But all it takes is $15 to get the Oxo Single Serve Pour Over funnel, which makes a superb coffee and easily bests your typical coffee pod.

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But those aren’t the only brewers that a coffee lover might want to explore. There’s also our Editors’ Choice winner and pick for all-around best automatic brewer, the Oxo Brew 8-Cup. Another is the KitchenAid Siphon Brewer, which uses an ancient technique to achieve outstanding and dramatic results. No matter your budget, there’s a coffee machine on this list that’ll fit your drip needs perfectly and be the best coffee maker for you. We’ll periodically update this list with new products as we test them, so you’ll always have access to good coffee. We promise, you’ll never have to drink coffee from pods or an ancient coffee pot again.

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Think of this kitchen appliance as the Swiss army knife of the drip coffee maker world. The Ninja programmable brewer (with frother, thermal carafe and reusable filter) offers an uncanny degree of flexibility, making it the best coffee maker for those who don’t always want the same cup. It can create everything from solid drip, to perfect cold brew, to iced coffee, to latte-style drinks with its milk frother, and it will adjust the temperature according to your choice. Its thermal carafe will keep tea or coffee hot up to two hours. This programmable coffee maker even lets you brew iced coffee and hot coffee in multiple sizes, from small cups all the way up to full carafes.

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Judging by the Ratio Eight appliance, the people at Ratio believe that a coffee maker should be beautiful as well as functional. Starting at $495, each brewer is crafted from a selection of premium materials like walnut, mahogany and glass. (Both the water reservoir and carafe are made from hand-blown glass.) Their sturdy aluminum bases are available in numerous finishes as well. And yes, the Ratio Eight with its glass carafe also makes excellent drip.

Read our Ratio Eight review.

A note on testing coffee makers

Evaluating the performance of a coffee maker is trickier than it might sound. The first step is to know what good drip coffee actually is. According to the Specialty Coffee Association, there are criteria critical to brewing quality java. Mainly these are brewing time and water temperature. Hot water should come into contact with grounds for no less than four minutes and no longer than eight. Additionally, the ideal water temperature range is between 197 degrees Fahrenheit (92C) and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96C).

To confirm how each coffee maker meets that challenge, we log the length of their brew cycles. We also employ thermocouple heat sensors connected to industrial-grade data loggers. That enables us to record the temperature within the coffee grounds while brewing is underway.

We measure the temperature inside the brewing chamber of every coffee maker we test.


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After brewing coffee, we take sample readings of the produced coffee liquid with an optical refractometer. Given we factor in the amount of water and freshly ground coffee used, that data lets us calculate the Total Dissolved Solids percentage of each brew. From there we arrive at the extraction percentage. The ideal range is commonly thought to be between 18 and 20%.

We also back up measured data with a good, old fashioned taste test. If the taste of a cup of coffee is bitter, there’s a good chance it was over extracted during the drip. On the opposite end, an under extracted cup of coffee will typically taste weak — it can even taste sour or have the flavor of soggy peanuts. And to be certain, we brew identical test runs a minimum of three times to achieve average results.

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